Gary from Jacksonville, FL
I understand Doug Whaley’s plight of being too good to find “The Man,” but recent QBs for Seattle, New England and Green Bay would seem to be exceptions to the rule of having to have the lottery pick.
They got lucky. Russell Wilson was a third-round pick, Tom Brady inexplicably fell to the sixth round and Aaron Rodgers dropped from a possible first pick of the draft to the 24th pick. There will always be exceptions to the rule, but you can’t build a plan around them.
Greg from Elmwood, WI
I still enjoy a well-written story. Each day I look at the Packers mobile site and all I get is videos and galleries. Dang it, Vic, I want to read something. The mobile site doesn’t even have a link to your “News now!” stories. Is it too much to ask to let an old guy read an informative and smartly written story?
I think you have a valid point about the “News now!” stories not appearing on the mobile site; I wasn’t aware of that until recently. Be that as it may, I think Mike Spofford’s daily reports are smartly written, and they appear on the mobile site. I think packers.com does a good job of mixing the old style with McStory. The “Gameday Roundtable” story I did on Sunday certainly wasn’t in McStory form. By the way, I leave Canton today and it’s a good thing because I am out of clothes. If I stay here another day, I’ll have to start paying taxes.
Bob from Appleton, WI
Vic, Super Bowl 50, Packers vs. Steelers. How does this game go in Vic’s world?
Packers win, 61-60; that’s the modern game. Two franchises whose greatest teams were built on defense are now all about offense. If you want to know how this game is changed, consider something I said to one of my colleagues in the press box on Saturday: If Al Davis said today the quarterback must go down and the quarterback must go down hard, he’d be fined. My colleague agreed.
Johnny from East Palatka, FL
My favorite weather game was the Monday night Dolphins-Steelers mudfest. The sod had just been replaced and I remember a punt just sticking nose down into the quagmire that was Heinz Field’s turf. I think the final score was like 9-3 or something. It was magnificent.
It was the 2007 season, it was Monday Night Football and the final score was 3-0, the only points having been scored at the end of the game. Here’s the crazy part: It was one of the highest-rated games of the season and the ratings climbed as the game went on. It’s proof fans love bad-weather football.
Rick from Shawano, WI
Obviously, you have never worked a day in your life, much less been a farmer: “Here’s something else the fans never have to do: Get fired. Try getting up every morning and doing it. Try dealing with the deadlines and the pressure. Your perspective might change.” Mine has. You are part of the problem and not the solution.
Corey from Whitehall, PA
Were there any players in history who played offense and defense full time? Which players do you think would be capable of doing that now?
Chuck Bednarik. None, because the game is too specialized to be able to play full time well enough to justify it.
Jason from Austin, TX
Vic, which Packer has the biggest something-to-prove point on them this year?
I think Nick Perry is obviously in that situation. This is a contract year for him. I think the combination of his talent, his development and the sense of urgency he’s facing are going to result in Perry having a big year.
Norm from Oakville, CT
You talk of your disappointment in the postgame interview room in Seattle. Did you ever feel that disappointment in your other venues?
I’ve never felt that way at any other time in my career. I felt true sadness for the fans.
Andrew from Green Bay, WI
What would you say the theme of this year’s training camp is?
Joel from Omaha, NE
Vic, should we, as fans, approach preseason games like we do training camp, just to observe talent?
Bryan from Springfield, VA
What’s one of your favorite Jerome Bettis memories?
Bettis arrived in Pittsburgh after I was gone, but the Jaguars were in the same division, so I covered Bettis twice a year, every year for a while, and those who read this column know of my affection for big backs. It’s why I love to watch Eddie Lacy play. Well, one of my all-time favorite games from covering the Jaguars was an overtime game in Pittsburgh in 1997. Bettis scored the winning touchdown on a shovel-pass run, and I was standing behind that end zone when he came roaring up the middle, and I remember thinking to myself that if I tried to tackle him he would make me look like a bug stuck on the grill of an 18-wheeler. You have to feel the power in the bodies of that type of runner to understand how they are able to mow down some of the most physical people on the planet.
Kris from Marquette, MI
While Ron Wolf played a huge role in the Packers renaissance, isn’t Bob Harlan deserving of at least as much credit for it, if not more?
Wolf made a point of thanking Harlan in the post-enshrinement video I did with him. I think it’s important to thank the people who’ve helped us get to where we are, but the enshrinement acceptance speeches have gone thank you crazy. It’s way over the top. It’s almost become political. Wolf’s speech kept it to a minimum. I would’ve liked to have heard him talk more about himself.
Steven from Oxford, OH
I love the column. That being said, whenever anyone asks about other teams’ fans, you kind of attack them. Now it may be the asker really is looking for a pat on the back (in which case it is deserved), but when I read these questions I get excited. The Steelers have at least one of the best fan bases in sports, you are a Steelers fan, you grew up in Pittsburgh, you wrote for them in the ’70s. The ’70s! I know you have some great stories about their fans. As a Packers fan, I’ve had the great honor of experiencing other Packers fans as a family, but I’ve never truly experienced another team’s fans, and I’d like to hear about it.
Well, we’re very different from Packers fans because it means more to us, since Pittsburgh is where the first professional football game was played. We understand our greatness is greater than other fans’ greatness, so we try to remain humble. That’s why we don’t chortle much about having made the Browns use their silent count in a game played in Cleveland. We’re very secure in our importance and dominance. I guess you could say we’re very classy. That’s why I was so disappointed in myself Saturday, for running around and waving my towel in the press box when they started playing the song “Renegade.” I don’t know what got into me; I guess it was just that old Steeler pride that did it. Fortunately, they had just delivered box lunches to the press box, so I stopped waving my towel and dug into a delicious turkey on rye and brownie wrapped in cellophane.
Patrick from Appleton, WI
Vic, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I watched your post-induction interview with Ron Wolf. I remember attending games back when the stadium exterior was a green, spray-painted hut with cheesy yellow letters glued onto the metal.
Times have changed. The brisket was delicious.
Stewart from Dunfermline, Scotland
Let’s have an experiment. I love your writing and would love to read you frame a story reviewing a Packers game. Your legacy could be reintroducing this type of writing to popular culture.
Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, Aaron Rodgers threw again.
James from London, England
Did you know there’s a mode on Madden that allows you to use Vince Lombardi’s play list? You were right; the “Packers Sweep” isn’t effective.
It’s official then.
Rolf from Copenhagen, Denmark
Vic, you’ve previously mentioned that if a team charges an entry fee for a practice, other teams’ scouts are allowed to attend. How does “Family Night” work around that?
Don’t show them anything you don’t want them to see.
Peter from Lansing, MI
During your interview with Ron Wolf, there was a part where he talked about how fortunate he was to end his career with the Packers. The camera was zoomed in on him so that we couldn’t see you. I was wondering if you were nodding emphatically while he said that?
I think I was taking a bite of my brisket. Seriously, the thing I like most about Ron Wolf is he’s a pro. It comes shining through from his career and his appreciation for each stop along the way. He’s a guy from Pa. who went to California to launch his career. Then he went to Tampa Bay, followed by a stop with the Jets. Then he finished his career in Green Bay. This is a man who chased a football to all four corners of the NFL. I love that about him. I didn’t know him until this past weekend. I am so glad I got to know him. He’s my kind of guy, a true football man.
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